Practical Insurance Solutions offers homeowners insurance from dozens of leading companies. Because we are an independent agency we work for you “the customer”, to help you find the best carrier and protection for your needs.
If you think you are paying too much on your home insurance call us for a free review of your current policy and market comparison.
We insure all types of homes including condos, townhouses, multi-family, modular, log, earth, mobile homes, and even high value homes.
Homeowners insurance is a package policy, which includes 4 major types of coverage:
- Protection for the structure of your home.
- Coverage for your personal property.
- Liability coverage.
- Additional living expenses in the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a covered loss.
Not all home insurance policies are built the same, below are the main types of home insurance policies. You will notice that each package’s coverages can vary greatly. Furthermore, please be aware that each of these packages can vary slightly from carrier to carrier, either by endorsements made to the policies by the carrier or options chosen by the customer. The variances in these polices can be tricky to identify, which is why it is important to have an insurance expert review your coverages; to ensure you are getting the proper protection.
Basic Form (HO-l) Is the most basic type of policy and is rarely used on primary homes. This policy protects your property against the first 11 basic perils and no others: Fire or Lighting, Smoke, Windstorm or Hail, Explosion, Riot or Civil Commotion, Aircraft, Vehicles, Glass Breakage, Vandalism & Malicious Mischief, Theft, Volcanic Eruption.
Broad Form (HO-2) Is the second most basic type of policy and is sometimes used on older homes that are in need of updates. This policy covers the same 11 basic perils listed on the Ho-1 policy, plus: Falling objects; Weight of ice, snow or sleet; Accidental discharge or overflow of waters or stream from within plumbing or related systems ( this does not included discharge or overflow of water from a sump); Sudden and accidental rupture of a heating, air conditioning, fire protective sprinkler, or hot water heating system; Freezing of plumbing or related systems; Sudden or accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current.
Special Form (HO-3) Is the most popular of the homeowner’s forms, which including all of the coverages listed on an HO-2 policy and more. It offers a broad range of protection and covers any direct damage to the house or other structures on the property, unless specifically excluded. Be aware that by default coverage for personal property is for named perils only (same perils listed in an HO-2 policy). Protection for realty on HO-3 policies are full replacement value, but again restrictions may apply depending on the carrier.
Homeowners 5, Comprehensive Form (HO-5) This is the most complete type of home insurance policy. It provides all of the coverages listed on an HO-3, plus this policy the contents are covered on an open peril basis for both personal property and reality. Therefore, if loss is not specifically excluded in the policy it will be covered for that cause of loss.
Modified Coverage Form (HO-8) this form is often used on owner-occupied older homes whose replacement cost far exceeds the property’s market value. HO-8 provides functional replacement, which is cheaper than replacement cost coverage. This means the policy will covers what it would cost to repair or replace damaged property, using common construction materials and methods. For instance, plaster walls may be replaced with drywall and hardwood floors could be replaced with plywood. Coverage for reality is limited to current market value of the home. By default theft coverage is restricted to $1,000 per occurrence from the main residence only.
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value:
- We always recommend that you verify if your policy has Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value coverage for your home and personal property. Replacement Cost is the actual cost to replace an item or structure at its pre-loss condition. Actual cash value is what you would pay for a similar item at today’s cost, minus depreciation. Depreciation is a decrease in value due to wear and tear or age.
Home Insurance Discounts
Discounts vary from company to company. Below you will find a list of some of the most popular discounts.
- Renovated Home
- New Roof
- Impact Resistant Roof
- Alarm System
- Home Buyer
- Protective devices
- Green Home
- Claim Free
- Early Shopper
- Non-Smoker Credit
- Retired Discount
Additional Money Saving Tips From the Expert:
- Your Home- The age, style, and construction materials used to build your home can have a substantial impact on your home insurance rates. Older homes tend to cost much more to insure then new homes because they tend to cost much more to repair then newer homes. Furthermore, homes with older roofs, electric, and plumbing systems are more likely to be at risk for claims. Older homes that are well maintained and have been recently renovated will often receive substantial discounts for the renovations.s.
- Credit- Over the last decade or so insurance companies have shifted their underwriting to relay more on consumer credit, and it has little to do with them being worried that you will be able to pay your premiums. Statistics used by carriers show that people with excellent credit are less likely to turn in claims. There are two major reasons for this. People with superior credit tend to be more responsible in general and less likely to file small frequent claims. Statistics show that there is a correlation between people with good credit and how well they maintain their homes. Homes that are better maintained will stand up better to storm and are less likely to have system related claims like electrical fires or bursting pipes. Furthermore, people with better credit are less likely to file small claims for minor damage. Some states have band this practice, but if you live in a state that allows credit to determine your rates, improving your credit can lower your premiums.
- How claims effect your rates- Most insurance carriers do not hand out claim free discounts until you are claim free for 5 years. However, some carriers will ease surcharges against you after your claims hit 3 years. How your claims effect you varies from company to company and frequency of claims. It is important that you only file claims when you have a substantial lost. Two or three claims with small payouts, in a five year period, could trigger a non-renewal with your insurance carrier and greatly limit your home insurance options elsewhere. Claim frequency is a major factor in your home insurance rates, so we recommend discussing the pros and cons of turning in a claim with your agent before contacting your carrier’s claims department. Did you know… with most carriers claim frequency tends to impact your rates more than the actual claim payout amounts..
Things to know about home insurance coverage:
- Liability to others: One of the most important coverage you home policy provides is liability coverage. This coverage protects you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members cause to other people. It also pays for bodily injury and property damage to others caused by pets. It pays for both the cost of defending you in court and for any damages a court rules you must pay. Most homeowners’ insurance policies provide a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability insurance, but we recommend no less than $300,000 worth of liability protection to all of our customers.
- Guaranteed or extended replacement cost coverage: After a major hurricane, tornado, or other natural disasters, building materials and construction workers are often in great demand. This can temporarily push rebuilding costs above normal standard rebuild cost and the homeowner’s policy limits, leaving you without enough money to cover the bill. To protect against such a situation, most policies can be endorsed to add Extended Replacement cost that pays between 20% and 50% more than the standard policy limits. Some companies also offer guaranteed replacement cost, which guarantees the replacement of the home without limit.
- Inflation guard: Can help ensure that your home stays properly insured over time by making yearly adjusts to the dwelling limit, when your policy renews, to reflect current construction costs in your area
- Scheduled Personal Property: Some valuable items that are out of the ordinary need to carry separate coverage to ensure that their full value is covered in the event of a claim. Each item that the insured wishes to schedule needs to be added separately to the insurance policy and generally an additional premium is charged. Some of the items that an insured should schedule are jewelry, art, musical instruments, furs, coin collections, guns, and other costly items that are out of the ordinary.
- Additional living expenses: This pays the additional costs of temporarily living away from your home, if you can’t live in it due to a covered loss. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals, additional fuel cost, and other living expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt.
- Building codes:Building codes are continuous being updated and may have changed significantly since your home was first built or last remodeled. If your home is badly damaged, you may be required to repair and update your home to meet new building codes. Generally, homeowners’ insurance policies (even a guaranteed replacement cost policy) won’t pay for the extra expense to meet new rebuilding to code cost. Many insurance companies offer an Ordinance or Law endorsement or Building Code Coverage that pays a specified amount toward these costs. Note: This is one of the most missed endorsements we see on policies. It is a coverage we highly recommend and the cost tends to be very low.
- Sump Pump and Water Back-up Coverage: Provides coverage to property damaged by water that backs up into the home through pipes, drains, sewer, water-service, sump pump and any other type of fluid transfer system from the house. We see many claims from this type event, but this coverage is also one of the coverages that we see most missed on policies we review from other agencies. The cost for this coverage tends to be low for such a valuable and often used coverage.
Items not covered by your home insurance policy:
- Routine Maintenance Issues: Home insurance is meant to protect homes from sudden and accidental damage and not routine maintenance issues. For example: If your home has water-damage due to poor drainage or landscaping issues, your home insurance will most likely not provide you with protection.
- Flood Insurance: Flood insurance is always written as a separate policy. If you live in a area prone to flooding you need a separate flood policy.
- Earthquake insurance: Some companies allow earthquake insurance to be added to their policy by endorsement. For carriers that do not offer earthquake insurance we offer standalone earthquake policies. Earthquake policies often have much higher deductibles then standard home policy deductibles, so we recommend that your review how your deductible will apply with your agent. Also, some earthquake policies excluded brick damage, so again review this coverage thoroughly with your agent.
Contact Us today for a free policy review and insurance quote. We currently service the states of Missouri, Illinois, Florida. Call us at (888) 539-7520 or feel free to email or fax us your current policies for a comprehensive review and comparison. Fax: (636-352-2878) Email: email@example.com